You don’t have to live in NYC to be weighed down by the hustle and bustle of life. NYC, however, is a different beast than most cities. All around me are horns, beeps, people scurrying, and noise. Added to the busyness of living in NYC, are phone calls, emails, and status updates across many social media platforms. Some days, I need to escape to a place far away that’s secluded and quiet. And thankfully, a trip to a place I used to disappear to in college called.
Many, many years ago, my friends and I would head to Mohican State Forest in Ohio to evade our studies and dorm life for moments of relaxation, hiking, and as often college kids do, drink beer, and smoke cigars. I had forgotten about those times until I read about the treehouses at The Mohicans. Mohican State Forest is a 4,525-acre state forest in Ohio and bordering the wood is a 1,110-acre state park. The Mohican is a convenient 15 miles from the state park.
I began to unwind as my two youngest children (ages 7 and 4) and I traveled the winding dirt and gravel roads through Loudonville and Glenmont, Ohio, where The Mohicans sits. Towering trees losing their leaves for the winter invited us into the peace and tranquillity I sought. We pulled into The Mohicans and parked next to our treehouse. Within minutes of arrival, my kids were running through the leaves, sword fighting with sticks, and planning all the fun stuff we would do over the next 4 days.
We ascended the stairs up the tree and walked across a plank to our treehouse and my kids excitedly burst through the door. They scaled into the loft and tossed their bags on the beds. I exhaled as I walked into the master bedroom and was greeted by a large window next to the bed. The strain that had been on my shoulders was gone. Then I informed my kids there was no WiFi and the tv only played DVDs, and we didn’t have any. This would be a completely unplugged weekend. A look of terror shot across my son’s face, but it soon dissolved when my game-loving son realized we would play all the board games I brought along.
After unpacking, we drove to a store and stocked up on food (there’s a tiny kitchen) and picked up smores’ supplies. We cooked spaghetti back at the treehouse and sat on the floor to eat. As darkness set in outside, we grabbed our smores’ items and started a fire in the firepit and told ghost stories and silly stories. The first day in the treehouse was off to a great start.
The following days were the same. We were visiting out of season, so many of the touristy locations in the area were closed. To say we took it easy would be an understatement. We hiked, ate, and explored the area. There was no schedule or a plan and it was perfect.
During our time at The Mohicans, we stayed in a treehouse the first 2 nights and a cabin for 2 nights. And by far the most fun we had during our trip was playing around The Mohicans property. My kids started off crunching leaves and stick fighting and that’s how we spent most of our days. It was slow, it was calm, and it was glorious.
Each night, my kids were exhausted and went to bed easily. After they drifted off to dreamland, I pulled out my laptop and worked on a new play that I had been mulling over. The treehouse and cabin were quiet and the echoes of wind skipping through the leaves stirred my creativity. For several hours each night, I wrote with a beer sitting on a table next to me. Maybe I’ll schedule another trip soon because, some days, you need a treehouse office.
The distance between The Mohicans and Columbus, Ohio is about 70 miles and the distance between Cleveland and The Mohicans is close to 85 miles. We drove a very comfortable Chevy Traverse from NYC to the treehouse, which lasted about 9 hours over 500 miles.
And if you don’t want to take my word for it, at least take Matthew McConaughey’s word.
Disclaimer: My kids and I were hosted by The Mohican for this review, however, the words and experience are my own.
Coming Soon on Traveling Dads: I will post a story about things to do in and around Mohican State Park and what it was like driving the luxurious Chevy Traverse during the road trip.